While You're Waiting

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

So I just posted this on Facebook:

Let me just tell you, friends,  it is TRUTH. I've spent a lot of years wandering and waiting. I was content and fulfilled in my job as a momma and wife {and I still am}. I took a go at the handmade world {halfheartedly, because I knew that I didn't want to be tied down by it-- although I couldn't explain why}. But one day the winds shifted and I felt the subtle stirring in my heart that quickened my resolve to prepare for something new blowing in. Let me just say...it's blowing in more than I dreamed.

So if you're in that season of waiting-- maybe patiently, possibly begrudgingly, but most importantly, {hopefully} faithfully-- just remember that the wait will be worth it. Whether you are waiting for your future spouse, longing to hold a child in your arms, dreaming of a fulfilling job, or just feeling "stuck" in life, lean into the Lord while you wait. Trust him and then look for peace while you wait.

I would love to know: Is there something that you are waiting on right now? Because you don't have to wait alone. While you wait, I will pray for you.

Wrecked Again

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Just when I thought it was safe to avert my gaze for a moment, it wasn't. My soul-friend, Terrica, reminded me again that my heart is still entirely wrecked. When will I learn:
..The balance for me is learning not tostraddle the line with one foot in each reality from time to time, but rather live fully present in both, simultaneously.  It isn't either/or... via Terrica Smith
Oh sweet precious ones, I don't have the words right now while my two "babies" bounce around the room. I can't go "there" without arousing deep questions from them that would inevitably be stirred by a seemingly unprovoked sadness on my end.  Yet I need to tell you about the tears that blazed down my cheeks while I waited in the car rider pick-up line after school.

Per usual, I presumed my two-minute Facebook check to be an innocuous time-killer. How ridiculous of me. Rarely is anything innocuous to my soul lately. I read these words. Then I clicked over here* and scrolled down my cell phone to read more. As if being unexpectedly burned, I tossed aside the phone as I choked back bile. I feigned composure.  And picked the phone back up. It was too much to ingest. Only there was no turning back.

Just read. Please. If you can. Listen to Debbie's story.

Closing my eyes only means that I can't see it. It doesn't mean that they don't feel it. Let's listen with ears to hear their pain and hearts to act accordingly.

****Warning: This post contains depictions of sexual abuse. If this is a trigger for you, please sit this one out.**** 


Monday, August 19, 2013

Just sayin'. 

Kirsten Smith, Abolitionist

By now I'm sure that you've begun to catch the vision that the winds of change are blowing wild and free here on the blog and,  more specifically, in my heart. I'm still processing through all that it means for me on a daily basis, but I do know one thing with perfect clarity: I am an abolitionist.  {See #2 below}

Friends, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, human trafficking is the second fastest growing industry in the world. When human trafficking came onto my radar a few years ago, it was in the context of the slums in India and brothels in Thailand. Heartbreaking though it was, it wasn't about my daughter. Or yours. It certainly wasn't about YOU-- or me.

Only, I was wrong. It is about us. I just wouldn't know it until this last year. It's about the women that I've met personally now who have stories to tell. It's about shining a light in the darkest of places and being a voice for those who cannot speak up for themselves. It is about equipping our young ones who are safe now to make safe choices in the future. It's about providing hope, safety and care for those who didn't have anyone else to turn to. It's about leaning on Jesus so that I'm able to "not grow weary in doing good" as I "reach out to the homeless and the loveless in their plight."

Am I scared? Like one million percent! I'm scared that I'll get distracted. I'm scared of what people will think. But mostly, I'm scared that I will live a life of blissful ignorance and miss the purpose that the Lord has so clearly placed on my heart.

The web is so intricate friends. Human trafficking {specifically sex trafficking and domestic minor sex trafficking} is a multi-layer problem. Think pimps, "johns," girls, boys, drugs, alcohol, abuse, incest, poverty, celebrity, games, corrupt law enforcement, inadequate laws, insufficient funds, foster care, adoption, pornography, websites...and so it goes. Spiraling out of control.

You might begin to see the need here, even if just a bit & through hazy eyes. But there is so much to share. So much to do. If you don't want to know, I understand. Really. It's a lot to take in and it seems utterly overwhelming. But if your heart is stirring, then please contact me. If this was you, or a friend, or a niece or a student-- please don't remain silent. There is help and healing from dark places.

So for now until always, in addition to the titles of Wife, Mommy, Writer, Communicator and Creative, I've added "Abolitionist." And so it goes.

On Hard Days...

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Words don't always flow from my head to my fingers and onto this blank canvas easily. I want to over-think the prose and edit myself before it spills out into a sloppy hot mess all spattered across the Internet. But tonight I just feel like not thinking about whether every word comes out just right. Tonight...I just want to cry.

Why are some momma-days hard? Why can't my 8-year-old have an all-the-time sunshine-y attitude?  Why does my daughter insist on bouncing on the edge of counter tops like she's trying to mount a balance beam? Why do I have an incessant need to feel approval? Even just a hug and a "You've got this, Momma! Just take a deep breath and love them anyway." from someone? 

The truth is that some days are exhausting. Some days I'm just worn out from correcting them and steering them in the right direction. Thankfully, I have an amazingly supportive and invested husband on my team. {Single parents, you have my heart and prayers tonight! You are super heroes in the flesh.}

Do you ever have a season where you know that you KNOW that things are changing? To the very depth of your spirit, you feel the tilt and wobble of something wedging you ever-so-slightly off-kilter. I feel that now. Like I'm being prepared to emerge from this safe cocoon I've hibernated within as the whole and complete woman that God has lovingly allowed me to morph into. But the wiggling out of that transformative place? It's uncomfortable. It kind of hurts. It begs for commitment and dedication. It's exhausting too.

Maybe that's just where I'm at tonight. Tired-- and ready for the metamorphosis to be perfect and complete. Both overwhelmed and invigorated by the idea that very soon it might just be time to fly.  

I doubt that the "hard" tonight was really because of my little ones. More likely, it was already brewing. They just sloshed the steaming pot over a bit. 
"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way...
Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.
13-15Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, “God is trying to trip me up.” God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.
16-18So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures." James 1: 2-4; 12-18 {The Message}
There you have it. I'm percolating on this. Even on hard days, good things are about to come.

3rd Grade

Thursday, August 15, 2013

It's that time of year once again. Shoes are squeaky clean. Backpacks dot my living room floor. Coffee becomes a necessity rather than a simple luxury. School has begun. My Kindergartener and 2nd grader are now 1st and 3rd graders.

Speaking of the third grade, my third grade year was a disaster. Now I don't think that Peyton is headed in the same direction.  But while we're talking 3rd grade, do you want to hear about my experience?

My third grade year started off with a stinky ol' move from the corn fields of Indiana up to the "big city" of  Fort Wayne. My tender-hearted self was torn apart by having to say goodbye to friends that I'd known since birth. To make matters worse, apparently country schools are significantly different than city schools-- at least back in, oh...1989. Namely, I was much further advanced academically, yet had to sit and twiddle my thumbs in class because my new teacher wouldn't let me move ahead. 

Then came the migraines. The kind that made me nauseated at smells {and for some reason my mom liked to fix "mush" while I was in the midst of these episodes-- GAG! To be fair, it probably only happened once or twice-- the mush, that is-- but it obviously left quite the impression} and begged me to lie in bed in a pitch-black room while my brain clawed at my skull for relief. When the migraines subsided and I went back to school I couldn't dare join in the gym class games of dodge ball because each sudden movement reminded me that my bruised brain was still tender from the barrage of pain in the days before. I was miserable. And apparently so was my teacher. Because after much discussion at home, my parents decided that this school probably wasn't the best fit. When I told Mrs. XXX that I would be leaving, her reply was, "So, do you always get what you want?" Yikes! {Mind you, I might've felt miserable, but I was a pleaser to the nth degree, so I hadn't been voicing my feelings. What a rough thing to say to a 9-year-old}.

Off I went to Catholic school. We're not Catholic. Welcome: Strange new world part deux. No paragraph necessary. I can sum it up in three words: Drama. Drama. Drama. 3rd grade girl drama precisely. Mean girls. Ugh. Pleaser alert going off in my head at full-intensity! {Can't all girls just GET ALONG?!} 

But one thing came out of that year that I've never forgotten. In the midst of the drama, apparently I worked really hard to be a peacemaker. So much so, in fact, that the head nun called my parents one afternoon just to tell them that they noticed what I was doing and that they wouldn't be one bit surprised if I became a counselor one day. 

Fast forward 10 years to Pre-Med & Classical Studies then Corporate Communications & Political Science. Then another 5 years to being a stay-at-home mom with a few writing and communication gigs in the mix.  Add another 4 years {last year} and I'm happily sewing and adjusting to not having two kids with me all day. Which brings us to today. 

My life is changing. I can feel it. 

Maybe you've noticed all of the postings I've put on Facebook about human trafficking. Maybe you read this post. Or this one {and yes, I do realize that I still need to finish moving my pictures back over to the blog}. This injustice has captured my heart. These precious ones with no one to speak up for them, I can't bear it.  I want to use my mouth and my influence pave the way for their freedom. How can I not? 

The thing is, remember that nun I mentioned from the 3rd grade? She was right. All these years I've been waiting for the God to open my eyes and prod my heart to the right thing at the right time. Finally, when I wasn't even looking, He came knocking on my heart. I'm certain that the time is now. 

What does that mean exactly? I don't have a specific answer for you yet. You'll have to be patient with me while I do my best to figure that out. It does immediately mean that "Lovespun Studio" is no more. I still enjoy sewing as a hobby, and I don't intend to stop. I may still post a few tutorials or recommend certain fabrics or books or patterns or shops, but I won't have an Etsy shop or make things often. If I get a wild hare and make 12 infinity scarves, you'll be the first to know. Every now and then I still need that creative outlet. For that reason I will keep my Lovespun Studio FB page up and running. 

Keep watching and waiting. I have a lot to share. My heart is full and my mind is racing. From here on out, I'll be blogging here at www.kirstencsmith.com. If you wouldn't mind switching it up on your Bloglovin' or Feed Reader, I would love it. The simplicity of it all is that I need to just be me. I grow and morph and change.  Allowing my heart to pour out through my own personal avenue rather than via a brand gives me the freedom to transform with ease. Does that makes sense? I'm not the best compartmentalizer-- it's all of me or none of me most of the time. Trying to only give you a part doesn't ever end up working. Hence, let's just stick to kirstencsmith.com for now. 

So here's to a new start. And you know, as terrible as 3rd grade was, I'm so thankful for those words spoken over my life. Let's see where this goes.

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